Sometimes clients are confused because, as WRC tutors, we say we don’t proofread or edit papers. But this is a bit of a misnomer—here at the WRC, we absolutely DO talk about grammar and usage, but we do so in a very specific way. The main goal for writing tutors is to help people become better writers, and editing a paper for the writer undermines that goal. If the writer isn’t involved in revising their paper, then they won’t learn about their writing and how to improve it during this process. On top of that, the writer’s ideas could be lost or changed in a way that they didn’t anticipate or want.
Let’s back up for a second, though. I’ve thrown out three terms: “proofread,” “edit,” and “revise.” While these three seem synonymous, they’re not:
- Proofread: “to read and mark corrections”
- Edit: “to make changes, correct mistakes, etc.”
- Revise: “to make changes especially to correct or improve”
Proofreading and editing, therefore, are steps in the revising process. In a revision-focused tutoring session, we (the tutors) read through the paper with you (the writer) in order to proofread and edit your paper together. It is a collaborative experience completely tailored to you. From small issues such as article usage to bigger issues like paragraph and/or idea organization, we work with you to proofread and come up with suggestions for edits while ensuring that you’re comfortable and happy with the direction in which your paper is headed.
Aside from revising, we can also help with brainstorming, organization, transitions, citations, formatting, and so on. From beginning to end, writing tutors can help with any step of the writing process, including revising and final polishing.
Happy Writing, Everyone!